Thursday, January 13, 2005

Securing Your Wireless Home Network

Do you have a wireless network installed in your home? Chances are that you do. If so, did you know that hackers might be using your Internet connection without your knowledge or consent?

It's called "Drive-By Clicking" and it is becoming more and more popular all the time. Here is how it works:

A hacker drives through a residential neighborhood with a laptop computer equipped with a wireless network adapter. If a wireless router isn't configured for secure communications the hacker's laptop can detect the signal, stop his car, and access the Internet using the unsuspecting homeowner's Internet connection.

He can send spam emails (potentially getting the homeowner in trouble) and even access sensitive information on the host's computer. Scary stuff, huh?

If you have a wireless router you can protect yourself with these tips:

  1. Place your wireless router in a location that is as far away from the street or the closest neighbor's house as possible.
  2. Change your router's password from the factory default (which most "competent" hackers are familiar with) to a new one.
  3. If you have file sharing enabled on your PC be surer to activate password protection.
  4. Enable encryption (WEP) in your router's configuration settings.
  5. Be alert for clues that someone else is using your Internet Connection or home network. These include excessive Internet traffic through your cable or DSL modem (the data lights will flash more than usual) and a sluggish PC with lots of unsual hard drive activity.

Taking the time to secure your wireless network from cyber-intruders could save you lots of headaches and losses (monetary and otherwise) in the future.

by: Rick Rouse


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, so is a wireless system the way to go? Sounds to me it is if you live out in the middle of nowhere. Thanks Rick for letting us know how to tap into someones wireless network, that was very kind of you. So, for people living in a downtown setting this sounds like it maybe the wrong thing for you. I mean you do not want the neighbor who lives 50 feet from you to access your network. Lets take my system for example, the best place for me to put the wireless router would be the middle of my basement. That is about equal distace from both the neighbors and the street.

4:06 PM  

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